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Feeding a Thousand SoulsWomen, Ritual, and Ecology in India- An Exploration of the Kolam$
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Vijaya Nagarajan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170825

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195170825.001.0001

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(p.256) 12 Endings
Feeding a Thousand Souls

Vijaya Nagarajan

Oxford University Press

This in-depth life work on the kōlam ends as it began, in the Tamil diaspora. From suburban Maryland at the beginning of the book, this work ends with a narrative about a kōlam competition in Fremont, California. In this concluding chapter, the author looks back on the lengthy process of researching and writing the book and how her understanding and appreciation for the kōlam and all it represents deepened with time and life experience. She reflects on the way that her research encompassed an unexpectedly broad range of disciplines: aesthetics, art history and design; ancient, medieval, and contemporary Tamil literature and ancient Sanskrit literature; anthropology and ethnography; and even ethno-mathematics. She concludes that even though the ancient ritual of the kōlam has undergone changes during modern times, it is still very much alive.

Keywords:   kōlam, Tamil, India, Hinduism, Hindu diaspora, Tamil diaspora, “feeding a thousand souls”, California

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